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Now a free agent, Werdum has his sights set on Affliction

After initially denying published reports that he had been released from his contract with the UFC, heavyweight Fabricio Werdum acknowledged in a recent interview with the Brazilian MMA website that he is indeed a free agent.

“When I first heard the rumors, I didn’t know anything,” Werdum is quoted as telling Tatame. “I had four more fights left with them on my contract, which ran to 2010. But they demanded to renegotiate my exiting contract by cutting my pay in half.”

Werdum’s lifetime record in the UFC fell to 2-2 following October’s first round knockout loss against newcomer Junior dos Santos at UFC 90 in Rosemont, Illinois. Word of Werdum’s release surfaced soon after.

A former PRIDE veteran, the jiu-jitsu black belt emerged as a top ten-caliber heavyweight by having recorded notable wins the past few years over the likes of Gabriel Gonzaga, Roman Zentsov, Alistair Overeem, and Brandon Vera.

Now that he is an unrestricted free agent, Werdum has expressed an interest in fighting for several promotions, with a possible preference for Affliction.

“There are several possibilities now including fighting in multiple organizations. Affliction, Sengoku and DREAM are big events, but I think the possibility of fighting for Affliction in particular will give me the best chance to fight the best in the world, Fedor (Emelianenko), in addition to (Andrei) Arlovski, Josh Barnett and several other big names. That would be a great opportunity for me,” Werdum is quoted.

  • mburtoni says:

    Werdum would conveniently provide an opponent for Barnett at the next Affliction show. Would have to give the edge to Barnett if such were the case.

  • DocWagner says:

    This would be a fantastic opportunity for Affliction by beefing up their HW class. I hope it works out…regardless, I am purchasing the PPV.

  • steve says:

    i dont understand why he was dropped.

  • Jason says:

    Still easily one of the best BJJ talents fighting in MMA, not a lot of fighters at HW with that level of technical talent, shame the UFC let him go. Sure it had a lot to do with the price tag on his new contract versus his abillity to draw.

    Somebody will pick him up in a hurry and have themselves a serious talent. Getting KO’d in a sport with 4 ounce gloves happens, their is almost zero margin for error when you’re dealing with guys that can generate heavyweight power.

  • blah says:

    Why did this happen? It’s simple. He lost. Dana doesn’t like marketing foreigners anyway, so this was the perfect opportunity to dump him (instead of giving him a million chances to redeem himself like he does with the ole-boys). Dana knows that anybody can get knocked out and are not indicative of a fighters real ability, but he also knows that the fans are too wee-todd-did to realize that, so what’s the best thing for Dana to do?

    1) Release Werdum because he “sucks” in the eyes of the typical fan, and wasn’t very marketable anyway.

    2) Werdum goes to somewhere like Affliction.

    3) Since Werdum doesn’t really “suck”, he can pull off an upset of someone like Barnett or Arlovski, thereby making it look like one of Affliction’s stars lost to a UFC “reject” and reducing Affliction’s stock in the process.

    Basically, Werdum is worth more to Dana outside the UFC than he is inside the organization. It’s just another smart business move on Dana’s part that’s facilitated by the sheer idiocy of the typical MMA fans that don’t understand how he does business

  • Robert says:

    “blah” thanks for enlightening the typical mma fan about the business practices of Dana White your hero.When you get off Dana’s nuts perhaps you could explain some of the reasons why such an arrogant, wanna be tough guy, business man has so many fans.

  • Jason says:

    “Blah”, I think everybody who looks deeply into it enough to care understands how Dana does business, he is pretty consistant in the way he does things. Most fans dont care about business tactics to devalue the product of a competitor, they care about having the cream of the crop in the thinnest division in the sport all under one roof.
    Spare everyone the elitist rant, if thats the aspect of MMA that you’re into good for you.

  • Jason G says:

    Dude don’t you know there’s complicated reasoning for everything Zuffa (Dana) does? it’s not possible that he was just released after refusing to renegotiate his contract at 2-2. Dana deep in is heart really doesn’t like Brazilian guys. You can’t be evil without a plan.

  • Jason G says:

    On a serious note the guy was overpriced and the UFC has lots of young and cheap up and comers at heavyweight. Werdum is at his prime and can’t cut it so it’s not that big of a deal that he’s gone. It would be awesome if they could afford to keep the top 20 heavyweights in the world on their roster but its just not realistic.

  • king mah mah says:

    I will be buying the affliction ppv and this only confirms why. If they want to keep getting rid of talented fighters then it will come back to haunt them. You can’t use the arguement that Fedor, Arlovski, Werdum, Barnett, Tim Sylvia, Babalu, are all just rejects. Theses are all fighters people want to see. And if the UFC keeps giving them up and Affliction keeps picking them up, then it will only strengthen Affliction in my opinion. Oh i’m sorry i meant IMO! Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

  • Jason G says:

    It’s unfortunate but Affliction doesn’t have near enough exposure imo to sell the ppvs they need. People watch the UFC because of the brand. They could have Dos Santos headline a card right now and it would probably do just as well as Afflictions. Everytime you go to a bar the people only usually know one or two of the fighters and none of them probably knew Werdum which is sad cause we need a second strong org. “I like Chuck Liddell, he’s got a bitchin mohawk!”

  • Caidel says:

    Well, I see a reasons why UFC did this (and I personally don’t agree with these practices), but still, I’m in awe, that they are giving Affliction that much of a firepower.

    Affliction HW division is now kinda on par with UFC HW division (both from the point of TOP HW’s included and potential matchups in the division).

    If we take into the account, that UFC now fired Werdum and last week, they nearly fired Velasquez and Wellisch….hell, they want to destroy that division as a favor for Affliction? Heh, I don’t really have a problem with that, I hope that Affliction will somewhat make it, but still, it seems pretty not business-wise to me :)


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